Feb 7, 2019

Drop in the number of Homeless in DC in 2018

The record-breaking cold snap during the last week of January, which brought many US cities, including DC to a standstill, finally ended on February 2, 2019. Residents breathed a sigh of relief as temperatures rose to a “balmy” mid-40s and low 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Even better, that same day, world-famous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil failed to see his shadow, which means that spring is a mere six weeks away! While Phil may have proclaimed the end of winter on Groundhog Day, weather forecasters say it's a bit premature for much of the country. Spring weather will take its time to arrive in the Northeast, mid-Atlantic and Great Lakes, with the chance for snow as late as mid-March in Washington DC. See Phil making his prediction at link attached.

The 2018 Point-in-Time Count of Persons Experiencing Homelessness in Washington DC, see report attached, shows a drop in the number of homeless in DC of 7.6% to 6,904 persons, which is most encouraging. This is a reflection of the effort on the part of the DC government and several private agencies, including UPO, to deal effectively with the plight of the city’s homeless population and work on providing low-income housing to get the homeless population off the streets and homeless shelters into permanent housing.

UPO Shelter Hotline represents the entry point assisting homeless folks off the street, transporting them to homeless shelters and providing them with comfort items. Winter and summer over 40 dedicated UPO Shelter Hotline employees communicate with shelters to coordinate transportation services for displaced individuals and families. We are the sole provider of transportation services for the DC homeless population. Our vans are seen throughout DC distributing food, water, blankets, sleeping bags and other comfort items, funded by your generous donations in support of the homeless.  During peak seasonal temperatures Shelter Hotline drivers work 24 hours a day during the winter and summer months transporting homeless individuals to shelters, cooling stations and feeding centers. UPO Shelter Hotline helps to save lives.

Shelter Hotline Statistics during the past year:

  • 5,478 customers transported to shelters
  • 186,416 trips provided to homeless customers
  • 397,544 shelter nights utilized by homeless customers
  • 63,997 phone calls received and processed
  • 53,905 comfort items distributed

UPO's mission is Uniting People with Opportunities. As the designated Community Action Agency for DC, UPO serves the DC homeless through our educational, vocational and job training programs. The Office of Early Learning provides children of homeless families with free education and family support. UPO Workforce Institute provides free training and job placement services as we help the homeless to self-sufficiency. We believe that they deserve the decency of basic comfort items that we can take for granted.

To date Help UPO Help the DC Homeless has raised $23,298 towards our goal of $25,000 from 370 donations. We are pleased to report that during the past 12 months we raised $6,711 from 94 donations, a record average of $71 per donation. With our work far from over we have decided to raise our goal by $5,000 to $30,000. Please join us in meeting the challenge of raising an additional $6,702 by December 31, 2019!


Dec 21, 2018


The UPO Foster Grandparent Program (ABC7)
The UPO Foster Grandparent Program (ABC7)

WASHINGTON (ABC7) — The United Planning Organization's Foster Grandparents Program was featured on ABC7 on Thursday December 20, 2018.

View the feature at the link below!

UPO's FGPs provide critical mentoring and tutoring services daily to DC children from birth to 21 years of age in a variety of local settings. Help is needed to cover the cost of training, materials, uniforms, and daily travel for more than 200 low-income DC senior volunteer FGPs. In addition we have a waiting list of 100 seniors to be FGPs, 10 educational institutions seeking to join the program and every current partnering volunteer site has requested additional FGPs.

  • UPO’s FGP Program is competing for bonus prizes in GlobalGiving’s Year End Campaign.
  • In addition GlobalGiving is offering a Match on all new Recurring Donations                                                                  

All new recurring donations up to $200 per donor per project started during the campaign will get an additional 100% match on the initial donation as long as it remains active for at least four consecutive payments. The recurring match will be good throughout the entire campaign.

Dear friends of UPO’s Foster Grandparents Program please be generous by sharing your bounty in support of this program that improves the long-term health and well-being of senior volunteers and circulates seventy cents of every program dollar into the local low-income DC communities that our volunteers and students reside. With a mission to Unite People with Opportunities, UPO's Foster Grandparents offer the right mix of academic acumen and nurturing and give much needed attention to over 15,000 low-income children in Washington, DC who so richly deserve it.

Happy Holidays from UPO's FGPs and the low-income children they serve.


Nov 26, 2018

#GivingTuesday Help UPO Help the DC Homeless

Following the frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday holiday gift shopping for family and friends, tomorrow on #GivingTuesday November 27th you have the opportunity to slow down and make a meaningful gift to a wonderful program that benefits the unfortunate homeless population of Washington, DC.

While many of us have protection from the elements, from icy conditions to searing heat in the summer, the homeless do not. UPO helps the DC homeless in several ways throughout the year. With a rise in DC homeless, the UPO Shelter Hotline vans transported 155,476 people to shelter last year. Help UPO Help the DC Homeless raises money for comfort items distributed to the homeless people assisted by Shelter Hotline.

Driving a Shelter Hotline van is a tedious job but a recent Washington Post article profiles one our drivers, who shares his experiences, memories and passion for helping DC’s homeless. The driver calls some of the men by name. Sometimes he uses a nickname — like “Champ” or “Red” — to set them at ease. And when each passenger gets off the bus — back at a homeless shelter after a day on D.C.’s gentrifying streets — he wishes them well with an honorific they rarely hear elsewhere: “Have a good night, gentlemen!” He is not the face of Mayor of DC’s efforts to decrease the high homelessness rate in the nation’s capital. Nor is he a main force behind getting his riders out of the shelters and into their own homes. Instead, he is a one-man generator of small acts of kindness, driven by his own memories of tough times in his native North Carolina and his early years in Washington, D.C.

As a past supporter of Help UPO Help the DC Homeless your support has been invaluable in helping to cover the cost of the comfort items for the homeless, from feminine items to care packages, water, food trays and protective clothing. #GivingTuesday is an opportunity for you to Help UPO Help the DC Homeless start the year-end fundraising season off right, our host platform GlobalGiving is releasing $150,000 in matching funds over a 24-hour period on #GivingTuesday.

Our hope is that this match opportunity will give you our loyal supporter an incentive to generously support the change you’re making in the world. The cold spell experienced in DC earlier in November has resulted in several hypothermia alerts and the D.C. winter outlook 2018-2019 is predicting snowier than normal conditions for the first time in three years. Your donation will Help UPO Help the DC Homeless raise money for the increased need for comfort items to be distributed to the homeless people assisted by Shelter Hotline.

See the attached article from the Washington Post on Tuesday 11/13/18 about the D.C. winter outlook for 2018-2019.

Please be sure to make your #GivingTuesday gift to Help UPO Help the DC Homeless tomorrow Tuesday Nov. 27, 2018, between 12:01am and 11:59pm.


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